On Grieving in the Middle of Seasonal Joy

Most of the time, it’s a dull ache tucked into the back of your heart. There are moments, though, that it’s a searing, blazing pain every bit as breathtaking as the day it entered your life.

Grief is powerful.

It sweeps in when you’re not expecting it, when it doesn’t even make sense to be sad.

Like now, in the middle of my favorite season OF ALL SEASONS. This morning, I had a moment with my own grief over losing my dad.

Yep, 3 years later.

I absolutely treasure the memories of holidays past, and I relish the time and energy being poured out into our family circle right now as we celebrate the little things about this season together.

But sometimes, a girl just needs her dad.

Today, the memory of his arm around me and his voice telling me ‘I’m proud of you’ the day before he passed away fills my heart with sadness for the fact that I’ll never get another one of those hugs.

And I still grieve.

There is still so much to be grateful for. 63 years of a firecracker of a man – a flash-in-the-pan temper and a big, soft heart underneath. A jack-of-all-trades and master of none. A true friend and follower of Jesus.

But sometimes a girl just needs her dad.

This scripture is ministering to me today, and I wanted to share it because even though the tone of the blog this month is pretty much ‘you can see my Christmas lights from space’, the reality of life isn’t always so shiny. Sometimes there’s fear. Sometimes there’s exhaustion. Sometimes there’s broken hearts.

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his daughter, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:31)

I count those sweet memories as a blessing; so many people grow old without the love of a dad like that, so I know to cling to the beauty of that last hug and assurance from my dad.

And on days like today, when my heart is heavy because joy swirls around me, but the fog of grief hangs over my soul, I can close my eyes and remember that hug, and the countless others. The times when I fell off my bike and needed comfort. When the fam stayed out too late partying hard at a revival service (or something similar) and I pretended to be asleep in the car so my dad would have to carry me inside. When my heart was broken as a teenager.

There were always arms carrying me. My dad’s arms were temporary, but the arms of Jesus still encircle my soul and bring me comfort.

This grief over my loss is intertwined with a joy in the hope that I’ll meet up with my dad in heaven someday. And more importantly, that the arms that carry me as a beloved daughter today will welcome me home someday.

I hope I make Him proud, too.

Friend, if you’ve ever struggled with a loss of your own, I encourage you to take comfort in the promises of God’s word. I wouldn’t be here today without the strength that He has given me to press on in joy and hope. If you’re looking for some of that, I pray you find ministry for your wounded heart and comfort for your soul today.

Happy Monday, friends!

2 thoughts on “On Grieving in the Middle of Seasonal Joy

  1. I know this post is a month old, but it resonated with me. I lost my dad in 1997 when I was 17. You are right, sometimes a girl just needs her dad. Thanks for sharing that scripture too. I loved it!

    1. I’m so sorry, friend – big hugs to you! It’s absolutely true – those days when we just need our dads are painful. Thanks for reading and sharing your story!

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